The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), Southwest Region, retained Ayres to provide roadway design for the rehabilitation of the bridge carrying Robert Street over the Rock River in Fort Atkinson. Ayres’ portion of the project included reports; agency and utility coordination; public involvement; 60% and 90% plans; and final plans, specifications, and estimates (PS&E).
The extremely accelerated project won a Best Structure – Consultant/Municipality Award from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s 2023 Excellence in Highway Design program.
The project, which rehabilitated a deficient 1973 bridge, required extensive coordination among Ayres, bridge design consultant Kapur and other consultant partners, WisDOT staff, utilities, agencies, and the City of Fort Atkinson.
The project included replacing the existing bridge deck, expansion joints, and roadway approach slabs at each end of the bridge. Surface repairs were planned at each end of the existing concrete girders and on the abutments. The bridge roadway section was modified slightly to help improve pedestrian accommodations across the bridge. By slightly narrowing the traffic lanes, there was enough room to add an interior parapet wall to shield a 6-foot sidewalk along the east side of the bridge. This is an improvement over the previous condition of an unshielded 5-foot sidewalk.
The north end of the bridge is at a signalized intersection with STH 106/Riverside Drive. Improvements were made to the curb ramps, traffic signals, and lighting at the intersection. In addition, new decorative lighting was added to the rehabilitated bridge.
Originally the project had been slated for construction during the 2023 construction year. Due to the possibility of other work on Main Street in Fort Atkinson in 2023, it was decided that the Robert Street Bridge should be designed under an accelerated schedule to allow the project to be constructed during the 2022 construction year. Not only was the schedule shortened on the construction end, but the design schedule was also delayed while WisDOT and the City worked out preliminary design issues in the summer of 2021. After those design issues were resolved, the project design team was able to begin on the project in earnest in August 2021, and the final PS&E completion date was set for January 1, 2022. Construction was completed by August 31, 2022.